Plant care takes a lot of time and effort. Often our busy schedules require us to travel or simply go on a vacation to lay off some steam. However, your pretty greens shall not have to suffer while you are away.
To keep things simple and easy for you, we have compiled the best ways how to keep plants alive while traveling.
How not to Kill Your Plants on Vacation – Important To-Dos
Leave your succulents alone
If you have succulents, such as jade plant, snake plant, Haworthia or Echeveria, you find some relief. These succulents do not require a lot of attention and will do well in aerated soil for a week or so while you are away. Give your succulents a drink right before leaving and rest assured that your green babies will be in good shape upon your return.
Optimize Indoor Conditions
Indoor plants are picky in terms of their growing conditions. Irrespective of the season, most indoor plants do well under moderate conditions.
Before going away, set your heat and AC at optimal levels for plant growth.
- Make sure that the indoor temperature is between 55 and 80 degrees.
- It is important that your indoor conditions are not dry. During winter, the best way to avoid dryness is to group plants together on a tray of pebbles filled with water.
- Remove flower buds, ripe fruits and flowers from the plant. It helps the plant to store energy and water while you are away.
- Find a spot with lots of shade in your home and place your plants under that shade. Place your plants close together, away from sunlight, to retain moisture.
Gather Your Outdoor Plants Indoors
Small outdoor plants can survive indoors given you set the proper temperature and humidity. Although outdoor plants may shed a few leaves during their stay indoors, they will be able to survive for a week or so while you are away.
For precaution, group your outdoor plants together and place them in shade. Grouping helps in reducing evaporation and transpiration, making the indoor conditions suitable for even the most sun-loving plants. It also buys you a day or two before your outdoor plants need another drink.
Water the Plants Right Before Leaving
As obvious as it is, you should give all your outdoor and indoor plants a drink just before leaving. Make sure that plants are placed in a cool, shady place away from sunlight to prevent drying.
Well-watered plants can survive for a week. You can also use terracotta pots in your garden to reduce evaporation and retain plant moisture.
Best Tips on How to Keep Plants Alive While Traveling
Build a Plastic Bag Greenhouse
A plastic bag greenhouse will retain water from plant transpiration and evaporation within the pot. It is an excellent method of water recycling for plants while you are away.
- Take some wooden stakes and put them inside the pot
- Pick a plastic bag and spread it over the plants while supporting it with the wooden stake. Make a tent out of a plastic bag to cover the plant.
- Finally, seal the plastic bag to promote condensation. These mini plastic bag greenhouses will recycle water for your plants.
Lay Mulch for Insulation
Peat Moss mulch is an excellent insulator. Layer your indoor plants with heavily watered peat moss. It will help in keeping the soil hydrated for 1-2 weeks.
How to water plants while on vacation?
Set up an Indoor Plant Bath
An Indoor houseplant bath is a fun and useful method to water your plants while on vacation.
- All you need to do is block the drainage hole of your bathtub and fill it with water up to 3-4 inches
- Place some towels on the water surface till they are soaked
- Now bring all your houseplants and place them on top of wet towels while submerging them in water
- The towels will serve as a water source for plants for at least 7-10 days
- Alternatively, you can use a kiddie pool and place all your outdoor plants inside it. Make sure to fill water up to 2 inches and place it in a shady place. Remove any saucers to free up drainage holes for plants to take up water.
Use a Wick or a Wet Newspaper
A cotton rope wick dipped in a water container is a good plant water source for 1-3 weeks. The wick continuously absorbs and transports water from the water container to your plant’s soil. You can use as many wicks as needed.
- Dip a cotton rope in a water container till it is soaking wet
- Now place one end 2-3 inches deep into well-watered plant soil
- Place the other end of the cotton wick at the base of the water container
Alternatively, you can also place damp newspaper on the soil around your plants to retain moisture.
If you have flowerpots, a damp newspaper will create a wet oasis at the bottom of the pots. Plants can suck up water from damp newspapers whenever they need it.
What is the Best Plant Watering System for Vacation?
Water Automatically with Sprinkler or Drip Irrigation System
Timer supported sprinklers or drip irrigation are among the best plant watering systems for vacation. For this method, you need to group your plants together.
Install a smart drip irrigation kit to water several plant containers from one water source. You can also get a smaller drip irrigation system for individual pots.
Alternatively, you can drill holes in water globes or plastic bottles. Fill these bottles with water and turn them upside down while pushing them into the soil near the plant base. The holes will slowly water the plant. However, this method can cause uneven water distribution.
Traveling Frequently? Consider Self Watering Planters
If you travel frequently for long duration, then it is best to invest in self-watering planters. These planters contain a water container at the base and plant containers on the top. Plants can easily take up water from water reserve. Self-watering planters are compact and durable, so you can place them in or out of your home at a convenient location.
Now that you know how to keep your plants alive while traveling, we hope you enjoy your vacation without having the grim thoughts of killing your plants!